Mayoral candidate proposes poverty support fund

Green candidate Kevin Foster.

The Green Party candidate for the York and North Yorkshire mayoral election has proposed a mayor’s poverty support fund if he wins next month. 

Catterick councillor Kevin Foster said the fund would provide grants to organisations which provide food poverty or accommodation support services to vulnerable residents.

He said “Many of our most vulnerable residents have been left behind by years of austerity and the cost of living crisis.

“They rely on support from voluntary organisations to help meet their most basic needs of food and shelter.

“During the mayoral campaign, I have met people across all of York and North Yorkshire and from every walk of life.  These include people using and running projects and centres combatting homelessness and food poverty.

“The staff and volunteers of these organisation work tirelessly, but it is clear they are under huge pressure from a combination of increased need and reduced funding contributions from central government and local councils.

“I intend to help bridge that gap with my Mayor’s Poverty Support Fund”.

Kevin added: “It will start with a £1m funding pot for the period from the mayoral election up to 31 March 2025 which will come from the mayor’s £18m budget.  Full details of the application process and qualification criteria will be published by the office of the mayor after the election, but I want to have the scheme up and running and open for applications within two months of the election.”

Kevin said “This isn’t just going to be a one-off allocation for my first year, because unfortunately the need for these vital services isn’t going to go away any time soon. It is important to act quickly because these need are so urgent, but I do want to learn from people working on the front line how I can improve the scheme and what else the mayor can do to help.

“I intend to visit or send a representative to meet every single applicant so I can get a real feel for the situation before announcing details for year 2 and beyond.” 

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